Fungal disease of five-needle (white) pines (Maloy 2001) Blister rust is a fungal disease that creates cankers by killing areas of bark and outer wood. It is only a problem in ornamental pines when currants or gooseberries (Ribes species) are growing nearby. Cronartium ribicola is a species of rust fungus in the family Cronartiaceae that causes the disease white pine blister rust.Other names include: Rouille vesiculeus a cinq feuilles pin (French), white pine Blasenroste (German), moho ampolla del pino blanco (Spanish). Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org. Cronartium ribicola (phylum Basidiomycota, class Pucciniomycetes, order Pucciniales, family Cronartiaceae) is a rust fungus. Blister rust causes branch death and can be fatal to the tree. Pathogen. White pine blister rust is a disease that attacks pine trees through their needles. White pine blister rust causes a range of symptoms on the white pine hosts. White pines are the more important economic host and support the pycnial and aecial stages. Currants and gooseberries serve as an alternate host for the rust fungus that causes white pine blister rust. The life cycle is the most remarkable aspect of the pathogen (see below). It is an exotic pathogen in Europe and North America. This disease is caused by the fungus Cronartium ribicola. Therefore, planting currants and gooseberries in areas where white pines are present can lead to serious losses of white pines. The disease is able to kill all 5 needled pines. The rust is a fungus, cronartium ribicola, that requires two host plants to complete it’s life cycle. White pine blister rust is not a serious disease of currants and gooseberries; however, it is a very serious disease of white pines (Pinus strobus). White pine blister rust is the only stem rust of white pines in North America. White pine blister rust (wpbr) is a complicated disease with a great story. . https://apps.fs.usda.gov/r6_decaid/views/white_pine_blister_rust.html Five needle pines like the Eastern White Pine, Limber Pine, and Western White Pine are particularly susceptible to this disease. Cronartium ribicola is native to China, and was subsequently introduced to North America. Controlling White Pine Blister Rust. White pine blister rust is caused by Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fischer, a heteroecious, macrocyclic fungus that requires two different host plants and involves five spore stages to complete its life cycle. The spread of the disease is complex and requires two hosts. As the fungus moves into the branches, spindle-shaped swellings form ( Figure 1 ) and eventually develop into cankers. White Pine Blister Rust Resistant Currant and Gooseberry Varieties and Control Area Map - Updated 9/3/20 . 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